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Keywords and Tools: How to Navigate Digital Marketing with Google Ads

Claire Jarrett, CEO of Jarrett Digital
Claire Jarrett, CEO of Jarrett Digital



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Claire Jarrett (00:00 to 00:49)

What I find about the most successful Google Ads advertisers is really an ability to trust the numbers. Because so much of this is trust the numbers. Make sure the conversion tracking set up correctly. It's not really about creativity. It's not really about coming up with a different ad or a different, a different version of an ad or a different landing page.

Sometimes it's so much about having the confidence to see this through and remember that it's the numbers that tell the story. Don't panic. It's probably one of the key pieces of advice. And make sure that you have a firm mindset to be able to invest in Google Ads.


Announcer (00:52 to 1:06)

Welcome to Paychex THRIVE, a Business Podcast, where you'll hear timely insights to help you navigate marketplace dynamics and propel your business forward. Here's your host, Gene Marks.


Gene Marks (1:08 to 1:35)

Hey, everybody, it's Gene Marks. And welcome back to another episode of the Paychex THRIVE podcast. Thank you very much for being here. This episode, we're going to talk about advertising on Google. And I have an expert who I've interviewed previously, and I love Claire because she knows so much about advertising online, particularly with Google Ads. So, it's Claire Jarrett. Claire, first of all, thank you so much for joining me. I'm glad you're here all the way from the UK.


Claire Jarrett (1:35 to 1:37)

It's really great to be here. Thanks, Gene.


Gene Marks (1:38 to 2:02)

I am glad to have you. So, Claire owns her own independent firm called Jarrett Digital. It's C-L-A-I-R-E-J-A-R-R-E-T-T. And Claire is also the author of the book Rapid Google Ads Success, which I have bought and read and refer to. It's really good. And by the way, Claire, do you have any other books on the horizon? Are you going to do a second edition of this?


Claire Jarrett (2:02 to 2:10)

The second edition is already out a few months ago, and the third edition we will be launching within the next couple of months.


Gene Marks (2:11 to 2:57)

I love to hear that. Okay, great. So listen, I mean, for all of us that are running businesses that are relying on Google for advertising, that we're trying to get better at it, this whole conversation is some advice that you might have to share. And I know you do a lot of consulting and coaching to businesses that do this. You're going to giving us a little bit of free advice here. But let me start off first with cookies. Cookies are a big issue for 2024, particularly for people that advertise on Google. And I was wondering, first of all, if you can explain to us what cookies are, how they're used, and just from a high level, what's going on in 2024. That we should be aware of.


Claire Jarrett (2:57 to 4:37)

Yeah, sure. So, cookies are placed onto your computer when you visit a website and they remember that you've been there. So, lots of the time they have a really useful purpose. However, Apple and Google have been attempting to place the user first with updates, saying that they would instead prefer no cookie tracking. So, as advertisers, they're giving us less options to track the visitor.


And the cynical among us might wonder why they're doing that. We suspect it's where they themselves want the data for themselves only, rather than letting others have it. And the real problem is going to be the loss of data that occurs with the cookie being removed.


So, for example, with the first session, if you visit once, it's going to be less of an issue. If you're the type of person that checks out straight away, if you visit and purchase in a single session, that's not going to be a problem. If it's a locksmith or a plumber where somebody's in an emergency situation and they buy from you straight away, it's less of an issue. This is more for those who have longer sales cycles, where your visitor, your prospect, is going to visit two, three, four or five times. They're the ones that you're going to see the problems with because the cookies will not track their multiple visits.


Gene Marks (4:38 to 5:06)

Right. And this is like a privacy concern, right? I mean, the whole reason why there was this backlash here is that all these sites are downloading cookies all the time. We get requests to accept cookies and we all just do because we have no idea, whatever. So, we download them and because these little tiny files get downloaded to our devices online, advertisers can track and follow us more. And there's been a backlash about that from consumers. Am I getting that right?


Claire Jarrett (5:07 to 5:08)

Absolutely, yes.


Gene Marks (5:09 to 5:22)

So, if there's less tracking of us now, that's good for the consumers and for us individually. But at the same time, that does present new challenges, I'm assuming for businesses that are advertising online, right?


Claire Jarrett (5:23 to 5:37)

It certainly does, yeah. Really big challenges because we're going to be able to see less of which of our advertising is working, meaning that there's going to be more wastage in our advertising efforts.


Gene Marks (5:39 to 6:18)

Yeah. And that is something that just has to be kept know in our minds as we're advertising on Google going. So, let's jump into some of the things that you teach your clients about advertising on Google. You know, first of all, is there a difference in your mind between advertising on Google or advertising on YouTube, considering that Google owns both platforms, obviously, and YouTube is, you know, one of the most-trafficked sites in the world. When clients want to advertise either like a straight Google Ad or advertise on YouTube, is it much of a different approach or is it pretty much the same concept?


Claire Jarrett (6:18 to 7:06)

It's hugely different. It's a million miles apart. And it's because Google is still the number one place people will go to have a problem solved. If they're looking for an immediate solution to a problem, they will go to Google to find that solution, to have 1, 2, 3, 4 options to choose from. YouTube will be people browsing. They're not in the mindset to buy. If you do capture buyers, it's more by accident than any direct intent. And as a result of which, I always suggest my clients start with Google search. That has to be the main place to put your advertising dollars for sure.


Gene Marks (7:07 to 7:27)

And what advice do you give clients say? They say, like, ok, fine, we'll spend some money on Google search. What do you tell them to do as far as what kind of budget they should be setting and the kind of investment they should be making and mistakes that they need to avoid. I mean, clearly you don't just place an ad and all of a sudden you're being inundated with leads.


Claire Jarrett (7:27 to 8:38)

Yes, yes, for sure. So, there are a number of keys to getting started. I like to advise my clients to do thorough competitor research to begin with. Very important to make sure that you find competitors that are doing exactly what you want to do. If there are no competitors, that doesn't mean you've got a brilliant new idea.


It means your business idea is going to fail because you want to find competitors in the market. Advertising what you do, if you do, it's a really good sign. It's a very simple step then to reverse-engineer the keywords they're using, the ad copy they're using, and build out campaigns that can immediately take some market share and then make sure that your ... So, as well as the keywords in the Google Ads campaigns, you do need to make sure that your landing pages, your website is going to be able to compete successfully with the competitors. So, that's really important as well. Make sure your website's up to scratch before you launch.


Gene Marks (8:39 to 8:47)

Got it? Yeah, so, finding competitors, it's funny because people think that if they're first to market, that's a really good thing. But in the world of online advertising, it's not a good thing.


Claire Jarrett (8:47 to 8:49)

Absolutely. No.


Gene Marks (8:49 to 9:00)

You want to follow what your competitors are doing, obviously placing these ads, because this is Google, it's all about keywords. What advice do you have for people when they're trying to figure out keywords and are there any tools that you recommend?


Claire Jarrett (9:00 to 9:26)

Yeah, so there's lots of really good tools that I recommend. There's the Google Keyword Planner, there's SpyFu, there's within your own Google search history, as well. If you've been advertising on Google historically, then you can certainly go through your own Google account and look to see what keywords resulted in leads in the past. But the Google Keyword Planner is the free tool that I suggest that you start with.


Gene Marks (9:27 to 9:30)

What's the difference between a keyword and a negative keyword?


Claire Jarrett (9:31 to 9:54)8

So, a keyword is what you do want to bid upon. Negative keyword is what you don't want to appear on. They would be things such as the word free, cheap. Lots of the times you don't want to end up with job seekers.  So, it's job and jobs apprentice, any type of work opportunity because you don't want to pay for those people that are looking for jobs, anything like that you don't want to pay for people to visit your site.


Gene Marks (9:58 to 10:34)

Got it. So, Claire, so my company sells CRM software, customer relationship management software, and for some of the big-name brands; Salesforce and Zoho and Dynamics. I can't even get close to those keywords because those companies own them and that's not an uncommon situation with a lot of business owners. What kind of things do you recommend to business owners that are trying to get found online or have their ads be successful when the market of keywords is really taken up by some of the big corporate brands?


Claire Jarrett (10:35 to 11:01)

Yeah, it's a really good question. For most of our clients that are running smaller local businesses, obviously this wouldn't be so applicable for you, unfortunately. But for most of our clients that are running local businesses, it's to focus on local. So, that would be locksmith near me or locksmith Chicago or something like that. So, it would be very much focused on the local area.


Gene Marks (11:03 to 11:31)

Makes a lot of sense. And I hear the same thing which kind of dovetails into if you're going to do that, I guess you want to have a Google business profile as well because that helps with that local advertising. How does that dovetail in, if I'm doing advertising with Google Ads and I do have a Google business profile, I mean are they operating independently of each other or does Google kind of bring those two together?


Claire Jarrett (11:31 to 11:46)

They are operating independently of each other. They certainly should be. They don't impact each other. I mean it's a good idea to have the business profile set up to get organic leads, but your Google Ads won't impact it.


Gene Marks (11:47 to 12:17)

Got it. A lot of people when they search online and they see ads, a promoted ad or something, whether it's a banner ad at the top or ads along the side, I don't know about you, I tend to avoid those ads. I look more, go deeper down into sort of like the organic search results. Do you think that's kind of common? And is there any advice that you have for business people when they're trying to get people to click on their ads?


Claire Jarrett (12:19 to 13:15)

So, it's interesting behavior. And there are tests which say that obviously you are an exceptionally smart consumer, so you're not the norm, Gene. At the end of the day, at the end of the day, most of the consumers wouldn't even when they think they're avoiding the ads, they are actually clicking ads. So, they are still clicking ads, even when they don't realize they are.


There's been tests done that have proven that. And let's remember that on a mobile phone, there is going to be, at the top of a mobile phone, the ads take up 80% of the search screen. You can't even see the organic results. So, on mobile particularly, you have to be in the ad space or you've got a very real chance of missing out on any traffic at all because people will always click the ads.


Gene Marks (13:16 to 13:30)

All right, good. I mentioned some of the types of ads, but I'm going to ask you to kind of step back and take our audience through the different types of ad choices that they have. And I'd love to hear some of your advice for writing a good ad that might get some eyeballs.


Claire Jarrett (13:30 to 14:42)

Yes, sure, yeah. So, rules for writing an ad are always write in title case, so you capitalize the first letter of every word. It's just been statistically proven that that is the case. So, always make sure you do that. Don't include your company name. People don't care who your company is. So, often I will tend to find people think that their company name is really relevant; it absolutely isn't. Make sure you include the keywords that you're bidding upon. They need to go into the headline.


And then make sure you pull out elements of your benefits and features of your offer. And make sure that that's matched within the ad copy and also on the landing page. Also, a favorite tip of mine is to make sure that you include numbers or figures whenever possible. So, six months or prices in dollars or pounds or three months guarantee or 95% success rate. Any numbers or figures that draw the eye tend to get a much higher click through rate.


Gene Marks (14:43 to 14:54)

Wow. Okay. That's great. What about types of ads? Do you find any specific type of ad working better? There is. What? There's banner ads, there are display ads. Can you walk us through that a little bit?


Claire Jarrett (14:54 to 15:37)

So, in Google Search ads, you'll be building a responsive search ad, which has 15 different headlines. I would suggest you build all of those out. That would then get your ad score to excellent. The banner ads you refer to, you could build out a remarketing or retargeting campaign to follow people around. That is where you would then upload banners, et cetera, should you want to.


However, they are going to become less useful due to the cookie issues we've already mentioned, and most of the time you're going to want to focus on getting the lead in straight away. So, it's mainly the responsive search ads are what you're going to be focusing on these days.


Gene Marks (15:38 to 15:58)

All right, that's very helpful. Interesting that you brought up about the retargeting, which we can talk about in a minute, but you're right. As cookies start going away or lessen their impact, those retargeting campaigns ... can you explain to us what a retargeting campaign is? And then I think from there it'll be pretty obvious why we can see them starting to have more challenges.



Claire Jarrett (15:58 to 17:00)

Yeah, sure. So, retargeting, which Google calls remarketing, is where ... when somebody has visited your website once and they have the cookie, you would then follow them round to bring them back to the same page. And the purpose is, in particular, if your product has a long sell cycle, you would want to follow them around for 30 days until they'd made the decision. And is also very useful, even if they have submitted an inquiry, is also very useful to still show them ads, or sometimes different ads reminding them why you're so great. Because sometimes, of course, they'll still be talking to your sales team.


You still want them being reminded of different elements of your offer. They might still be in the decision-making process, talking two or three competitors. You want them to still be seeing your ads some of the time for at least 30 days afterwards.


Gene Marks (17:01 to 17:12)

Yeah. I think the best example I like retargeting is, I don't know, I go to Expedia and I book a flight to Chicago and then all of a sudden I'm getting all these ads for hotels in Chicago.


Claire Jarrett (17:12 to 17:13)



Gene Marks (17:13 to 17:35)

Or restaurants in Chicago because they're tracking me, and advertisers can pick that stuff up. Before I even get to that question, you mentioned also earlier about a landing page. Talk to us about landing pages. Should each ad have their own landing page? And what makes a good landing page?


Claire Jarrett (17:35 to 19:07)

So, each ad doesn't need its own landing page. You generally would want a series of keywords that are all related together. So, each of your products or services will ideally have its own landing page. And a great landing page would have calls to action. It would show the visitor they're in the right place. It would include perhaps some guideline to the price because people like to have some guideline, even if its price is from you. Could have multiple different ways of converting. So, for example, a form and a phone number, perhaps a chat function, something like that, and be tracking all three of them. Definitely include some type of testimonial or user feedback, preferably linked to Trust Pilot or some type of reviews that people can see and genuinely believe in, because social proof is very important these days.


And then make sure that you've got more of your benefits and features on the landing page. Why people should buy from you? The thing not to worry about including on there, by the way, is a video. Lots of people think that a video is really important on their landing page. When we've done tests, they hardly get any views at all. Google search visitors are highly unlikely to then watch a video on the landing page. Yes, you can include one if you really want to, but it's not really essential. And sometimes people go to a lot of trouble and expense creating it, and it's not needed.


Gene Marks (19:07 to 19:24)

When you create campaigns, and even if you don't have to have multiple landing pages for a campaign, most experts say, and I think you write about this well, that it's important to run multiple campaigns. Right? Because you're always testing, testing, testing.


Claire Jarrett (19:24 to 19:25)



Gene Marks (19:25 to 19:26)

Talk to me a little bit about that.


Claire Jarrett (19:27 to 20:12)

Yes. So, different campaigns, different strategies. Maybe you might organize your campaign by different geographical area. Sometimes we've got campaigns set up where we're testing similar keywords and we're testing different bidding strategies. Sometimes we're asking Google to bring us in more leads. Sometimes we're telling Google to smooth out the cost of the lead. Sometimes we're telling Google that a lead is worth $100, so bring us in as many of that value lead as possible. There's different ways and different bidding strategies that you can use and they are performed those tests at the campaign level.


Gene Marks (20:12 to 21:00)

Don't you think, I mean, it's a monstrous project, honestly. You're creating an ad, so you have to have talent in writing an ad the right kind of ad that gets eyeballs. You have to really do a lot of research into keywords. You have to make sure that you've got a landing page or perhaps multiple landing pages set up. You might want to consider retargeting depending on the type of the campaign itself.


And then obviously you got to track all this stuff and look at metrics, what's succeeding, what's not succeeding. And by the way, it's also data driven. Do you find clear that the better Google advertisers, and I hate to make you generalize, but I'm going to ask you to generalize, are people that are more data-oriented than necessarily creative types?


Claire Jarrett (21:02 to 21:58)

Yeah, it's interesting. They may be to a certain extent, but what I find about the most successful Google Ads advertisers is really an ability to trust the numbers because so much of this is trust the numbers. Make sure the conversion tracking set up correctly. It's not really about creativity. It's not really about coming up with a different ad or a different version of an ad or a different landing page. Sometimes it's so much about have the confidence to see this through and remember that it's the numbers that tell the story. Don't panic. It's probably one of the key pieces of advice and make sure that you have a firm mindset to be able to invest in Google Ads.


Gene Marks (21:59 to 23:16)

Yeah. And it's not something that happens overnight, obviously. I mean, maybe somebody strikes gold on the first try, but I'm assuming that's pretty unusual. It's a long-term commitment, you know, which also makes a lot of sense. Now, you talk about trusting the numbers.


So, I'm going to get cynical with you here and I just want to get your thoughts. I mean, again, as a small business owner, and we've done Google advertising for a long time with all sorts of irregular success. I get frustrated because first of all, Google, they give you numbers of impressions. I'll do an ad and they'll be like, oh, 87 billion people saw this ad. I get hardly any clicks, and even if I do get, Google eats up my budget based on the number of clicks on an ad. And oftentimes the clicks that they tell me the ad is getting doesn't necessarily correlate or even come anywhere close to the number of views that I see going to my landing page. It'll say like, oh, you got 500 clicks and then I look at my landing page and there's like 50 views of that landing page. And that happens.


(23:16 to 24:09)

And a lot of people are like, well, it's because there's bots and that's what's causing whatever. And then I'm like, well, okay, well, there's bots, but that's not my problem, is it, because I'm paying for it. Google's taking the money, but people aren't ending up to my page. How do you build that trust with business owners? How do you tell them when they get out there and they see this sort of wild westward?


And by the way, one final thought about this is that all the numbers that we're relying on are coming from Google. Here's $100 of my money. And then Google is saying, thank you very much, we'll use that up as people are clicking on it and we'll tell you how many people are clicking on it. You know what I mean? It seems like there's no independent verification. What do you say to your clients that need, that are looking for some type of to trust these numbers? What do you say?


Claire Jarrett (24:09 to 25:19)

Yeah, okay, so I would say have some form of independent tracking, as well. So, I use Improvely, for example, so I can prove the numbers away from Google. So, that would be one form of one answer there. And then in reference to what you've said, there may be the instance you've mentioned there is highly unusual for that level of clicks to impressions and then for it not to be showing in Google Analytics. My suspicion would be poor quality traffic, perhaps YouTube traffic, perhaps from the non-Google search network, the display network, perhaps untargeted keywords. I would presume that there is a lot of low-level quality traffic that needs to be filtered out. That is not common amongst the clients that I work with. We wouldn't see that level of bot traffic or whatever that you mentioned. So, you definitely would need to take a look at that, to be honest.



Gene Marks (25:21 to 26:27)

Yeah, it's an issue. And by the way, I'm picking on Google, but I literally just wrote a piece for the Guardian about my experiences on X, formerly Twitter, which again is not Google. I realize that, but similar experience. I did like a promoted post there where X told me 400 people clicked on the URL on that post and I had a landing page dedicated to that post, and I had 10 visits to that landing page during that period of time. Ten. And I kind of throw my hands up in the air saying, I don't know, I guess I'm kind of missing something. We have not talked at all about YouTube marketing and we won't because we don't have enough time. But that is a whole other conversation I would love for you to have but even if and when we get to that, tell us a little bit about the services that you perform.


Listen, we've reached out to you in the past. We've read your book. But I don't know, I kind of feel like if you're a business owner and you're going to be jumping into the world of online advertising, it's almost like you really need a coach, a consultant like yourself. What do you do with your clients? How do you help them succeed?


Claire Jarrett (26:27 to 27:21)

So, we make sure that our clients have their hand held along the way, so we set realistic goals. I have a team of six that are phenomenal, that work with me every step of the way. We make sure that we work with the client to research their competitors, assist them when we're talking about ad copy. These days, we are doing a lot more of the actual campaign, builds, setups, and management for clients. We're tending to find that clients would prefer to be letting us do the work rather than them do a lot of the work, meaning the fact that we can get results much faster. So, that tends to be what's working these days.


Gene Marks (27:23 to 27:38)

Makes sense and the makeup of your team. This gets back to what we talked about a little earlier. Are these creative people like Don Draper on Mad Men, or are these more data-intensive people or analytical people? I'm just curious.


Claire Jarrett (27:38 to 27:55)

A mixture, really. So, partly creative, partly analytical, but above all, really great people to be working with. That's the key, is we all get on really well as a team and really good with the clients. And that's what I look for.


Gene Marks (27:56 to 28:23)

Okay, final question, and then we'll let you go. This has been great. Obviously, your job and your expertise has changed a lot, I'm assuming over the past few years, because it's a very ever-changing market. Obviously, AI is having a big impact or will be having an impact. And that's my question. How do you expect AI and the world of online advertising itself to change over the next few years? What should we be preparing for?



Claire Jarrett (28:24 to 29:43)

So, AI is doing a phenomenal job of making sure that we bring in the right type of leads for our clients. Google believes that its technology is far better than it actually is, so it's attempting to automate a lot of the Google Ads accounts, and we spend a lot of our time undoing the automation when it gets to be as clever as it can be. I look forward to seeing the results.


Really, it's still about the inputs. So, making sure that you have somebody that is very clear on what are you inputting into the system. It's still the same issues with the fact that it's garbage in, garbage out. If you aren't very careful with telling Google what you want in terms of your leads because your website isn't set up to show that properly, then not surprisingly, you're going to end up with rubbish leads. So, AI can only deliver great results if you spend time actually perfecting the inputs, perfecting your website, perfecting your offer, and at this stage, that will still very clearly be working with somebody to help you perfect those.


Gene Marks (29:44 to 30:00)

Very good, final question. And I lied because I said my last question was my final question, but this will be the final question. When you bring on a new client, and I'm sure you evaluate many of different sizes, who's the perfect client for you? What makes a really great client for you?


Claire Jarrett (30:00 to 30:29)

So, a really great client is they are probably two to five staff, so pretty early stage. They very much want to work hand in hand with me and my team. They are very invested in the growth of their business, but they also recognize the importance of working with an expert and are willing to trust us to do our jobs.


Gene Marks (30:31 to 30:45)

That's great. There's no guarantees in life, but do you feel confident when you work with companies that you can say, listen, if you hire us, we can get you "x" amount of clicks on your ad, for example, or to your landing page?


Claire Jarrett (30:45 to 30:59)

Yes, I'm very careful with ever promising guarantees because it's hard to say. But yeah, there are certain industries, it's very easy to just create campaigns and you know that they're going to get a really good return really quickly.


Gene Marks (31:00 to 31:30)

Okay, that's great. I've been speaking with Claire Jarrett. Claire is the founder, the owner of Jarrett Digital. It's That's C-L-A-I-R-E-J-A-R-R-E-T-T. She is also the author of the book Rapid Google Ads Success, which I highly recommend. Claire, great information. Really helpful. You and I got to have a conversation about YouTube marketing at some point, but I'll let you go and do something more productive with your day. But this conversation has been super helpful.


Claire Jarrett (31:30 to 31:33)

So, thank you very much for, thanks for having me, Gene.


Gene Marks (31:34 to 32:16)

All right, everybody, you have been watching and listening to the Paychex THRIVE podcast. My name is Gene Marks. Thanks for joining us.


Do you have a topic or a guest that you would like to hear on thrive? Please let us know. Visit and send us your ideas or matters of interest. Also, if your business is looking to simplify your HR, payroll, benefits, or insurance services, see how paychecks can help. Visit the resource hub That's W-O-R-X.


Paychecks can help manage those complexities while you focus on all the ways you want your business to thrive. I'm your host, Gene Marks, and thanks for joining us. Till next time, take care.


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